How to Love Yourself

How to Love Yourself by Louise Hay

  1. Stop all criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.
  2. Stop scaring yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, (mine is yellow roses) and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.
  3. Be gentle and kind and patient. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really love.
  4. Be kind to your mind. Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change the thoughts.
  5. Praise yourself. Criticism breaks the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
  6. Support yourself. Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
  7. Be loving to your negatives. Acknowledge that you created them to fulfil a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfil those needs. So, lovingly release the old negative patterns.
  8. Take care of your body. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
  9. Mirror work. Look into your own eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day look into the mirror and say: “I love you, I really love you!”.
  10. LOVE YOURSELF – DO IT NOW! Don’t wait until you get well or lose the weight, or get the new job, or the new relationship.
  11. BEGIN NOW – Do the best you can. 

Source: Louise L. Hay

I Statements

A helpful technique for communicating boundaries in a way that can minimize conflict and defensiveness.

Three steps to construct your statement:

  1. When you [Describe the BEHAVIOUR]
  2. I feel [EMOTION] (See list of emotions for help choosing)
  3. Would you be willing to [Desired BEHAVIOUR]

BEHAVIOUR

Something that you can see, feel, hear, etc. Observations NOT interpretations

EXAMPLE

Your friend walks out of the room in mid-sentence while you are talking to them. You feel hurt and mad and disrespected. 

SAY IT LIKE THIS

  1. When you walk out of the room when I am talking (Yes! You are describing behaviour that you observed, not interpreting it)
  2. I feel hurt (Yes!, that is an emotion, not a thought. It is an statement about yourself, not about the other person)
  3. What would help is/Would you be willing to stay present while I am talking (Yes! You are describing the behaviour you would like to have occur)

Important! ==> The other person can respond with “YES”, or “NO”, or “I need to think about it”.

If it is a “No”, then move to the next step – you decide the consequences of this behaviour. You can go away and think about it, and now it is up to you to decide how you will deal with a negative response.

For more on this, see the Nonviolent Communication process Developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

A List of Emotions

sadangryscared
unhappymadfrightened
sorrowfulannoyednervous
depressedirritatedpanicky
miserablefuriousintimidated
downenragedalarmed
gloomycrossafraid
heartbrokenfrustratedfearful
devastatedvexedstartled
hurtcholericterrified
insecuresuspicioushappy
unconfidentwarycheerful
self-consciousdistrustfulmerry
unsurecynicaljoyful
doubtfuldisbelievingpleased
hesitantskepticaldelighted
timidcharygleeful
shymistrustfulcarefree
introverteddisbelievingbuoyant
unsafedubiousuntroubled
jealoushopefullove
covetousoptimisticfondness
enviousconfidentattachment
desirouspositivetenderness
insecuresanguinewarmth
protectivecheerfulintimacy
vigilantupbeataffection
anxiouslightheartedpassion
mistrustfulbuoyantdesire
resentfulexpectantlust